“Elliott has made no statement with respect to its intent regarding Novell,” the hedge fundsaid in a statement. “Elliott wants to own the company. Elliott has no plans to sell any business units.”
Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Elliott might consider selling Novell’s NetWare networking-software unit, as well as its open-source operating business, citing an unidentified person with knowledge of the matter. Ellliott disputed the report on possible unit sales, calling it “inaccurate.”
According to Bloomberg, Elliott would also try to run Novell more efficiently and bring about $400 million in the company’s offshore cash back to the United States, citing this person who asked not to be identified because Novell has not yet accepted the offer. Elliott did not dispute these reported moves in its statement.
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In its letter made public March 2, Elliott said Novell’s shares have “underperformed all relevant indices and peers.” The company is overspending on employees, said the person with knowledge of the bid. If the takeover attempt is successful, Elliott would take steps to improve sales per employee, the person said.
Novell’s 3,600 employees generated about $239,496 each in revenue for the fiscal year ended Oct. 31, according to regulatory filings. Sales per employee was little changed from the previous year. Novell’s per-employee sales are on par with those of competitor Red Hat Inc. and below the $628,355 per employee for Microsoft Corp. and the about $353,000 for Symantec Corp.